seek

verb
\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt How to pronounce seek (audio) \; seeking

Essential Meaning of seek

somewhat formal
1 : to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something) He is seeking employment. [=he is looking for a job] The office is seeking a salesperson. See More ExamplesThe prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. thrill-seeking travelers [=travelers who want to have very exciting/thrilling experiences]Hide
2 : to ask for (help, advice, etc.) You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations/volunteers.
3 : to try to get or achieve (something) He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. See More ExamplesThey sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service. The mayor is seeking reelection. She seeks perfection in her work. attention-seeking behavior Immigrants come to America to seek their fortune. [=to try to become rich] They are seeking compensation/damages [=they are trying to get money] for their loss.Hide

Full Definition of seek

transitive verb

1 : to resort to : go to
2a : to go in search of : look for
b : to try to discover
3 : to ask for : request seeks advice
4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at seek fame
5 : to make an attempt : try used with to and an infinitive governments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented— D. M. Potter

intransitive verb

1 : to make a search or inquiry
2a : to be sought
b : to be lacking in critical judgment … they were sadly to seekThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

Other Words from seek

seeker noun

Examples of seek in a Sentence

The office is seeking a salesperson. The prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations. He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. They sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service.
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Recent Examples on the Web Officers advised the business could seek a civil protection order and also left the suspect, a 36-year-old Mentor man, a message advising him to stop contacting the business and its employees. cleveland, 26 Nov. 2021 Subsequent generations will have to locate burrows, seek mates and feed themselves during the breeding period. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Nov. 2021 The pandemic has also driven more people — those with more disposable income — to seek out more space, and first-time buyers left pricey city rentals in search of a house. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 Following a harrowing hide-and-seek-and-run sequence, Harry — who's only brought a knife to this gunfight — gets the jump on one of the goons and stabs him. Matt Cabral, EW.com, 18 Nov. 2021 Prosecutors did not seek detention for a misdemeanor offense, and Bannon was released after swearing to comply with pretrial court supervision, including weekly check-ins by phone and notifying the court of any travel outside the D.C. area. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 Nov. 2021 In 2016, Borders chose not to seek re-election for a fourth term and retired the next year to focus on his family. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, 16 Nov. 2021 Self-aware people seek clarity and understand the importance of carving out time to reflect on their goals regularly. Amy Blaschka, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2021 Viewers will have the chance to ask panelists questions, seek advice, and share their winning coping strategies. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, 12 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of seek

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for seek

Middle English seken, from Old English sēcan; akin to Old High German suohhen to seek, Latin sagus prophetic, Greek hēgeisthai to lead

Learn More About seek

Time Traveler for seek

Time Traveler

The first known use of seek was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near seek

seeing that

seek

seek compensation

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Statistics for seek

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Seek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/seek. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for seek

seek

verb
\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Kids Definition of seek

1 : to try to find seek help … foxes called to each other, seeking again their lifelong mates.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
2 : to try to win or get He sought revenge.
3 : to make an attempt Doctors are seeking to find a cure.

Choose the Right Synonym for seek

seek, search, and hunt mean to look for something. seek may be used in looking for either material or mental things. She's always seeking new friends. I seek the truth. search is used when looking for something in a very careful, thorough way. We searched all over the house for the letter. hunt is used for a long pursuit. I hunted all day for the right present.

More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Nglish: Translation of seek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seek for Arabic Speakers

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